Short stay accommodation options are now on the rise. In Australia, there were more than nine million short-term visitors in 2018-2019. The average duration of each stay was 11 days with the longest in South Australia, stretching to 17 days. The shortest period was 10 days in Queensland on average.
All around the world, there are more than 100 million Airbnb users in 191 countries. In 2017, the number of Australian Airbnb users rose from 43,000+ in 2016 to almost 90,000. This number increases virtually every day.
If you want to venture in the short-stay sector, you already know how challenging it can be. In a sea of BnB hosts, the question remains of how you can ensure that your listings get noticed. What should you do to get the attention of your target guests? What are the mistakes to avoid? How can you genuinely profit?
You have more questions going through your head right now. In this post, we will give you a comprehensive guide for you to become a successful host. We will outline everything from start to finish, so you get rid of any guesswork behind.
A Few Reminders Before Joining Airbnb
Where do you begin? One of the first things that you need to do is to have a property that you will rent out. There are plenty of areas to choose from if you plan to invest in the estate market for short-term accommodation. One way to ensure you will succeed is to have a target market. Do you want your guests to be professionals, families, or seniors? Define your audience and look for the right spot.
If you already have a property, you still need to decide on your target guests. This way, you can plan your listing, décor, and other essentials accordingly. Here are some questions that you need to answer:
- Is the neighbourhood attractive to tourists?
- Is it a safe area?
- Are there nearby tourist attractions?
- How many visitors does the town or city welcome every year?
- Should I renovate my home or simply redecorate? Should I buy new furniture pieces or get rid of existing ones to gain more space?
- Is the house clean enough, or does it need a thorough cleaning?
Are there improvements that can make guests feel more comfortable in my property?
- How much time should I invest in Airbnb? How about the budget?
You should also be completely fine with inviting strangers to your home. If not, you should not proceed. It helps to understand that not every Airbnb venture will turn out to be successful. You need to invest time and money while staying patient and dedicated to this business.
You can make things easier for you by creating a business plan and doing comprehensive market research, such as the following:
- Investigate your competition, which includes other properties in your area. Find out their prices and read their reviews. You will have an idea as to how they failed or prospered. Look at their photos and check how they decorated their homes. Then, compare your home with them.
- Know your target audience. If you have already figured out who your guests will be, you can then decide how you can create your property marketing strategy.
- Understand your own home. You need to determine the type of your property before you can list it. Airbnb uses terms, such as an entire house, a shared room, or a private room. You should also list down all the amenities available and the nearby attractions.
Once you have got these things covered, you can proceed to the next step.
Understand Airbnb Fees
Anyone can list their homes on Airbnb, and there is no charge. However, if a guest books your property, you will have to pay Airbnb for it. There are two service fee structures. The first is a host service fee, which is three per cent for almost all hosts. The other is a host-only fee, which can range from 14 to 20 per cent (up to 22% for those with strict cancellation policies).
Additionally, if you accept guests from other parts of the world, you will have to pay a three per cent Exchange Rate Fee for these transactions.
Be Familiar with the Local Regulations
In some countries, Airbnb requires hosts to pay taxes. The good news is that Airbnb does not need Australians to register for goods and services tax (GST). However, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) obliges hosts to declare the income they have earned from the service. The earnings should be present in the annual tax return; otherwise, those who do not comply will be charged with tax evasion.
There are only a few rules for Australian BnB hosts. It is why you do not have to worry much about legalities. However, it always pays to stay updated to ensure that you are following all the rules.
How Much Can You Earn?
When you research on Airbnb, you will find different figures regarding how successful hosting is. It may seem confusing, but they are all telling the truth. In reality, your Airbnb income will depend on various factors, including your location, property, cost of your service, and other fees.
If you want a profitable business, you should prioritise your location. As much as possible, you should choose an area with tourist destinations. These places often have high-demand for Airbnb and short-term homestays.
It does not mean you will not profit if your property is in a lesser-known city. However, you need to work harder because the area may have fewer tourism activities.
How do you get paid on Airbnb? There are various payout methods, including PayPal, Payoneer Bank transfers, international wire transfers, direct deposits, and Western Union. Depending on the process of choice, it can take anywhere from one to several days. Airbnb usually releases payouts a day after your guest checked in. However, if your guests stay at least 28 days in your property, the payout will be released every month.
Prepare Your Home for Airbnb Hosting
Your home should be ready to accept guests. Take the best pictures as well, while you are preparing your house. At the end of the preparation, you should already have the following:
- All must-have amenities and essentials, including towels, shampoos, soaps, and blankets
- A fully furnished home
- Have house rules
- Clean rooms
If you will renovate your home, be sure it is correctly done.
Sign Up for Airbnb and Create Your Listing
Now, the next step is to have a listing, which is where your Airbnb journey officially begins. The key is to create the best host profile. While your home’s pictures and descriptions can convince guests to book, your profile welcomes trust. You should show people that you are the perfect host for them. Describe yourself honestly but in a fun way. Look at the top hosts’ description and be inspired by them.
Add a photo as well. It should look friendly and normal without appearing staged. Use high-quality pictures, especially when creating your profile and listing.
For your listing, your goal is to grab the attention of the readers. Therefore, you should use an eye-catching title. It should already describe what you are offering. Choose the right words with your target market in mind. Since the title is the first thing that guests see, it should be attractive based on the group of people you want to book your property.
For instance, if you want more business people to book, make sure to mention nearby facilities, centres, or transportation.
Your listing should also describe your unit in the best possible way. You aim to make it stand out, which will not be achievable if you simply state it is a one-bedroom apartment. Use adjectives, such as cosy, stylish, expansive, amazing, and beautiful.
When putting where your property is located, it should be descriptive as well. Be precise, especially if there are nearby tourist hotspots, such as a big sports centre or a famous landmark.
Your listing is not forever. You need to change it up from time to time, especially if there are events in the area. If your listing is not getting enough views, you should modify it to create more excitement.
Update Your Calendar
Your profile can appear flawless at this point. However, if you see that there are not enough guests booking your property, it may be due to your out-dated calendar.
Ensuring that your calendar is updated will increase your chances of getting more calls and reservation requests. You also tell potential guests when your property is available for booking. Another reason why you should keep an eye on your calendar is that Airbnb has strict rules when declining requests. Your listing could get deactivated if you keep turning down guests because your schedule is out-dated.
Use the Instant Book Button
Sometimes, it will be difficult for you to get users to book. One way to enhance your appeal is to add the Instant Book button to your Airbnb profile. This way, potential guests do not need to wait for your approval. They can instantly book your place whenever you have the schedule available.
Many guests find this feature incredibly hassle-free. They do not have to wait for you to accept their reservation request. All you need to do now is to talk to them about their check-in plans. Another reason why you should use this function is it can help you reach SuperHost status fast. As a SuperHost, you need to have a 90% response rate at the very least, which Instant Book can help you achieve.
Verify Your Account
It is easy to get verified with Airbnb. You only need to provide a valid government ID, your phone number, and an email address. You can also connect your Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn profile with Airbnb, which will be used as your online ID.
Having a verified profile increases your trust rating. Many customers these days want to make sure they are dealing with a real person. It also serves as an extra layer of security for you as a host.
Before your guests arrive, make sure the place is clean. Yes, you may have already cleaned yesterday or the day before, but you should tidy up the rooms again. No one likes seeing and living in someone else’s mess. A clean place can make a big impression on your guest, so be sure to prioritise it.
Also, you should communicate with the guest a week before the arrival, such as through email. It will remind them of their reservation.
You can leave notes around your home. These notes should give your guests advice in using the washing machine, cable TV, coffeemaker, or any other equipment. Another thing to do is to ensure that all essentials are accessible, whether it is toilet paper, towels, or shampoos.
Lastly, make the guests feel welcome. You do not have to personally greet them, but making them feel you appreciate their presence is essential.
Just like with the arrival, one of the crucial things to do is to clean the property. You can ask the guests to leave a review about their experience. Use the feedback to improve your service.
Hire Property Management Services
Make your life more comfortable with a property manager onsite. If you plan to go on holiday, you do not need to stop accepting guests. With a property manager, your Airbnb transactions go on. This way, you get to maximise the profitability of your home.
Guests know when you simply copy and paste answers to their questions. They also know when you do not want to spend time giving more information about your property.
All these things can be overwhelming, especially for new hosts. Hiring Your SuperHost will allow you to optimise and automate bookings and dealing with guests. Never rely on a robot; use real pros from Your SuperHost, and you will see the difference in your earnings. Contact us to get more details about our services today.